The truth about loans has been exposed today with the revelations about Ryan Kent and Bristol City, putting an end to ‘conspiracy theories’ about loan players and play clauses.
Rangers fans often wondered last season why the likes of Ovie Ejaria, Joe Worrall, Lassana Coulibaly and indeed Kent himself for the early stages always appeared to get precedence over our own home-grown players. Why Worrall took Katic’s place last autumn, why Ejaria was always selected no matter how little he offered.
Well, sources have revealed that Bristol City were fined a six-figure sum for failing to select Kent according to the agreed numbers confirmed in his contract, clauses which stipulated that the Liverpool winger would get a set number of performances minimum.
Lee Johnston, their coach, dropped a veiled barb at the Anfield giants when he alleged that the Robins’ relationship with them wasn’t the best as a result, and this does go a long way to explaining why the likes of Worrall and Ejaria always seemed to have priority.
Fans have often spoken of it in hushed tones, darkened rooms and conspiracy theories – like when back in the day, Lee McCulloch appeared to be guaranteed to play no matter how poor he was.
Well, loan contracts do indeed have clauses in them for appearances, and clubs who don’t honour those agreements get fined by the parent club – which for smaller clubs or less rich clubs, like Rangers maybe have been in recent seasons, is rather a no-no.
So, rather than risk the loss of hundreds of thousands of pounds, guys like Ejaria and Worrall remain in the team even at the cost of developing our own talent.
In Kent’s case it worked out very well indeed, but Worrall was not a popular player and ditto Ejaria. But the manager just has to hope the loan player delivers otherwise he’s stuck with a dud who must be selected for fear of financial punishment.
Hopefully Sheyi Ojo lives up to the hype.